Special Victims Unit: Fat Kids

April 20, 2006

I got my second press release from the California Nutrition Network (CNN), alerting me to an upcoming TV show that publicizes the issue of childhood obesity. CNN is not a cable channel, but a state agency that gives grants to projects and organizations that help low-income Californians eat better and exercise.

The first show was the one mentioned in Erika’s reality TV post, “Honey, We’re Killing the Kids!”  On May 2nd, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit will feature a story line dealing with childhood obesity and Type II diabetes. The episode is entitled “Fat.”

I wonder if government funds are being channeled to these TV shows. On the one hand, the possibility of government resources earmarked for low-income health issues going toward Hollywood entertainment is unseemly. On the other hand, children suffering from childhood obesity and Type II diabetes are watching a whole lot of TV. And most likely, so are their parents, so it may be the most effective way to get the information to the target audience.

In fact, I’d wager that the best way to get important information to the masses is to knit it into a prime time crime or reality show. It’s like hiding the pill in the dog’s food.